Ah. I’m guilty of a couple of these almost right idiom usages. I’ve found myself making sure I use “wrack” because I was so sure “rack” was wrong. Sometimes it feels as if some mental effort is at brain destroying levels…apparently not. A relief, actually.

The one about just deserts is so confusing that all by itself just trying to unravel the explanation is threatening to wrack my brain for me.

The one that really bugs me is something I’ve never seen anyone else even mention as problematic. So it’s either that I’m right, or I’m being extremely annoyed by something I’m actually wrong about. The term “trolling the internet” is used so much that it’s become a part of the collective language. I first saw it years ago with “trawling”, instead of “trolling”. That made sense to me. On coastal vacations along the Atlantic and Gulf, I’ve seen boats with huge draping nets hanging from rigging above the deck. Fishing trawlers. They drag the nets through the water to catch fish in them. To trawl = to search the internet for information to catch.

I can’t think of any way “troll” is a verb. Unless…the trolls of fantasy stories live under bridges and take money to let travellers pass. That could possibly seem to have some connection to the internet and the way it’s accessed…if you mentally squint. I think the more likely explanation is that the use of “trawl” evolved into something familiar to more people. Almost everybody has heard of a troll, while fishing trawlers are more of a regional thing. (Online haters have become known as trolls, which is unrelated to trolling/trawling)

Now that I’ve racked my brain trying to remember details of variations of troll vs trawl, I’ll be champing at the bit, as I wait with bated breath to see if anyone finds this post by trawling the internet.

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